How to Pay YouTube Influencers

How to Pay YouTube Influencers
Logan Lillie


Logan Lillie

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As a brand, company, or marketing team, YouTube may be the next big breakthrough for influencer marketing. YouTube has built a network of over 2.6 billion users in just 17 years, and its influencer marketing and digital marketing tools have the power to promote your product to millions of devout followers.

YouTube is the oldest social media platform that is still growing in popularity. Making the decision to use this platform is an easy option as social media is the key piece to gaining the engagement of a new generation who relies on social media to craft their style and beliefs. YouTube partnerships may be the answer you’re looking for if your business is looking for a way to promote your business to the next level.

When looking for the right fit to pay your influencers, you may have just started, or you’re even already in the game and are unable to find a seamless payment process that already fits into your existing ERP systems. That's where we come in.

We’re Lumanu — the payment platform designed to help brands and creators pay and get paid hassle-free. But before we tell you more about our app and product, we’re sharing the pros and cons of some standard methods used to pay YouTube creators so you can find the right solution for your business.

Why do Brands and Agencies Work with YouTube Influencers?

Before diving into the payment methods and price tags, it is essential to understand why YouTube influencer marketing might be your best option.

YouTube videos differ in that they are typically longer videos than on TikTok or Instagram, where videos or reels are as short as a few seconds and up to about 3 minutes. This method captures an audience but doesn’t allow an ample amount of time to properly promote a product in a way you might desire for the price.

Where YouTube content creators' video lengths average about 11 minutes and allow an influencer to promote your product on their YouTube channel over a much greater period of time.

YouTube Channel Size Qualifications

How YouTube influencers get paid is partially dependent on the size of their audience base. The agreed-upon numbers of size based on followers are:

  • Nano-influencers: 1,000 to 10,000  
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000 to 50,000  
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 to 500,000  
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000 to 1,000,000
  • Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+
Types of YouTube Influencer Payments

Based on the parameters above, this will determine how you will compensate your influencers. There is a multitude of ways to pay your influencers but there is no strict guideline in which to do so. A few options are:

  1. Store Credit
  2. Comped Trips and Events
  3. Pay Per Post (plus performance bonus)
  4. Ad Revenue
Store Credit

This works much like gifting and tends to target smaller influencers. However, unlike gifts (where they must announce it on the sponsored post) store credit does not require disclosure.

Comped Trips and Events

Another fairly inexpensive way to pay social media influencers is by creating a free environment for them to travel and network. If you’re a brand sponsoring influencers on a trip or at an event, this can give them the control and freedom to be creative with their content.

Pay Per Post (plus performance bonus)

Also referred to as “sponsored” posts, this is the most popular form of payment for social media influencers. Sponsorships of youtube videos allow for a longer period of airtime for your product than other methods such as a short ad or quick reference. There is a wide price range that depends on factors like:

  • Type of content and quality
  • Follower count
  • Audience engagement
  • Length of partnership
  • Brand size or product value

Your budget will also dictate exactly what you pay an influencer per post.

Ad Activity

This will be dependent on the amount of foot traffic and engagement rate that is gained from your influencer’s post and will fluctuate depending on the size of your influencer’s audience.

How to Price a YouTube Influencer For Your Brand?

Similar to the method in which you choose to compensate your influencer, their price tag is not an exact science. When deciding which method, you must consider the path you believe is most cost-effective while also reaching the most potential customers as well as your target audience.

It is important to look at the following before setting a price point with your YouTube influencer:

  • Average marketing ROI
  • Previous campaign performance
  • Standard rates
  • Rate cards

If they demand more than you will be making from the partnership, it might not be the best fit for you.

If you are still unsure about where to put a base price, here are the average costs (per post) for YouTube influencers:

  • Nano influencers: $20 to $200
  • Micro-influencers: $200 to $1,000
  • Mid-tier influencers: $1,000 to $10,000
  • Macro-influencers: $10,000 to $20,000
  • Mega-influencers: $20,000+  

The average cost on YouTube is typically $18 per 1,000 ad views. Some YouTube influencers will also charge based on video views ($50 to $100 per 1,000 views).

How to Pay YouTube Influencers?

When it comes to paying social media influencers, the majority want to be paid in cash. In other words, gifts and trips no longer cut the mustard for serious professionals. Therefore, you need to find the most efficient ways to pay influencers, especially if you plan on hiring a few of them.

This is where automation comes in. You find an online payment platform and let the computer do the rest. The step-by-step process typically goes something like this:

  1. Sign up for the platform
  2. Connect your bank account or credit card
  3. Wait for your account to be authorized
  4. Start sending out ACH payments across the globe

Other platforms will boast additional features like invoicing, recurring payments, and subscriptions. It’s all about finding the tools that work best for your top business needs.

Here are some of the more common platforms companies of every size are using to pay social media influencers right now:


PayPal is available in over 200 countries, supports 25 currencies, and has been a major player in the B2B financial market since 2003. The platform offers a variety of payment methods including global ACH, credit and debit cards, and bank wires.

A basic account with PayPal is free and a business account starts at $30/month with a fee of 3.49% +$0.49 per transaction. Credit card transactions cost more.


Stripe is an online payment processor that offers custom APIs for e-commerce brands and mobile apps. The software accepts payments in over 135 different countries, in multiple currencies. It also integrates with a variety of finance apps.

Stripe costs 2.9% plus a 30-cent fee per transaction. There are also different costs to further customize the platform.


If you really want to enhance the social media influencer experience, Lumanu helps to simplify the entire process. From onboarding to taxes and multiple payment methods, it’s a solution that makes paying influencers stress-free.

Lumanu saves marketing and finance teams hours from having to onboard new vendors, process and schedule payments, and manage invoices. Plus, making ACH payments and mailing paper checks can be tedious if you have to pay dozens of vendors at once.

Lumanu also gives business access to instant working capital (EarlyPay) and the ability to pay social media influencers at mid-market exchange rates. It plugs directly into your existing AP/AR system where you can send invoices, streamline workflows, and manage all influencer payouts in a single spot.

Learn how DIME Beauty uses Lumanu to scale its payments to hundreds of social media influencers at once.

The cost for Lumanu starts at $299/month plus 2% of transactions. Schedule a demo with one of our team members today to learn if Lumanu is the right solution for your influencer marketing and payouts needs.

Logan Lillie

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